Villa Montessori has been a gift to my family. My husband and I are fortunate enough to have children ranging from grades 1-8. This school not only provides an impeccable education, it truly is an education of the whole child. They promote life long learning and each of them are above grade level due to the academic prowess and encouragement of self-directed learning. Executive functioning is such an important skill and teachers hold each child responsible for completing follow-ups in a timely manner. When my children come home from school, their learning continues whether it be science experiments, research or reading. I have been a parent at this school for twelve years and feel so much gratitude for the strong sense of community, supportive administration and the encouragement of the education of the whole child.
If you value a true Montessori experience, this is not it. It is Montessori-lite, at best. Prior to coming to Villa, I had my daughter in another (far more serious out-of-state) Montessori for several years. After joining Villa, I was dismayed by the dumbing down of the Montessori approach. This school has strayed too far, and the divergence has brought with it decreased expectations for learning. While my daughter flourished at her first school (learning at rapid speed because she was challenged), she languished at Villa because she was not challenged. Since she was above average in learning ability, Villa considered her a low priority. She regressed in reading, writing and math, and complained about being bored. Villa s poorly executed Montessori curriculum simply wouldn t adapt to her learning pace (even though it should). I had numerous conversations with school administrators about my concerns and frustrations. They were not interested. She has since switched schools, and I am once again astounded her rapid pace of learning. She is finally being challenged again. If you re striving for average then Villa will deliver. If you expect more, then consider other options.
I don't think the negative comments reflect reality. I'm reading things like "teacher turnover is horrendous," but almost every Villa teacher returns every year. Teachers that do move on are typically assistants looking for a lead teacher opportunity that Villa can't provide them. Nearly every student returns every year. The entire school is A-rated, based on student outcomes. (Look it up!) And they just completed an impressive construction project that vastly improved the Elementary classrooms. I could go on and on. Villa isn't a perfect school, but no school is. Still, I think Villa, by any reasonable measure, is a terrific school. Oh well. Anyway, my son is in Kindergarten and thriving. Because of the Montessori materials and expert teachers, he can count by 4s, 5s, 6s, etc. He can write and is actively learning to read. He loves going to school and is flourishing. He's been at Villa for 3 years and he'll be there for 8 more.The negative comments do not reflect my family's experience at all, except that the school does charge for full-day Kindergarten. It's a bummer, but to be fair, the state only pays the school for 1/2 day. My family couldn't be happier. Thanks, Villa!
Villa Montessori is fine until 3rd grade. After that it is terrible or possibly we got the worst teachers in E2. After we pulled our children we spent almost a year catching up so they could keep up with their respective grade. This was after we were constantly told they were doing great. Now we are trying to undo the damage done; love of learning and self esteem. Think long and hard before considering this school. It is not for everyone especially if your children do not fit in the ideal Montessori mold.
Thank you to the staff, teachers, and administration for an amazing year! Both of my children attend Villa and they love the school! I can't say enough wonderful things about the wonderful women in the office as well as the administration. Also a huge thank you to the wonderful teachers who have been such an important part of my children's lives.
We have been a part of the Villa community over twelve years. We consider the staff and administration a part of our extended family. We are always treated with love and respect by everyone even if we do not personally know them. My children started Villa in the infant and toddler room and will continue to be there through middle school. Villa has been dedicated to my children and we are dedicated to Villa!
This school is terrible. Administration not only doesn't listen, but hardly acknowledges anyone including children while walking around campus. My son attended Villa for nearly two years in pre-primary. We should have pulled him the first year when he did not master counting to ten or his ABC's. He had an extensive knowledge on various science items, but not the basics. When we would sit down with the teacher she said "it would come" It took numerous visits and constant questions until they started working on the basics. In the mean time the Aid in his class began to use combative statements directed towards my child IN FRONT of my child and myself including "Could you hurry up and get him?! It is bad enough I had to deal with him all week?" SERIOUSLY? Teachers talk about other students and their negative traits constantly, which is extremely unprofessional. It is no wonder my soon to be kindergartener has a hate for school. I will be battling this for years to come as they created a negative connotation of school for him. Villa is ALWAYS asking for money, I get it no school ever has enough, but when I pay $800 per month it is old to be hounded for extras constantly.
I have to agree with so many of the previous comments. Administration is very closed to feedback, listens but doesn't hear and rarely communicates. The teaching staff is a big clique. At the E2 level, there is very little follow-through and my son was not prepared for the stark increase in workload at the middle school level. When I brought this up, I was told: "We hear that all the time." To me that's a sign something isn't working. At the middle school level, the work is crammed around trips and the "community" is micro-managed to be certain no feelings are hurt. Which essentially means the adults are managing relationships for/between the kids. I moved my son to public middle school this year and is so much happier and doing a much better job at managing himself.
I would agree with the last parent who said, "constructive criticism is politely listened to but rarely embraced." The administration makes all its own decisions without any parent input and when parents do try to input ideas, we get a polite not and the door held open for us. We are in fact looking now and will be definitely be moving after this year. We want to be part of a school where we have input...where it is a collaborative effort of parents, teachers and administrators. (We are also looking for a school with a foreign language program. Several friends have their children learning dual language Chinese and we feel left behind at a school with zero foreign language as part of the curriculum.)
E-1 teachers are great. E-2 feels like a "clique"- staff is all related. Students are great though. Administration needs to be better equipped to handle new ideas. Constructive criticism is politely listened to but rarely embraced. Not sure about Middle school -no experience here.
My oldest daughter graduated from Villa a few years ago and we loved it. I wouldn't have done it any differently. The middle school was the best part of our Villa experience. The teachers were amazing and it is all because of them that the middle school is what it is. My younger daughter is still at the school, in 6th grade. While I see the school trying to advance, they are doing it very slowly and I think at the expense of the students happiness. Teacher turnover is horrendous! Its very disruptive to the students needs to seriously be evaluated on how its handled. It makes me wonder what is going on that they can't keep their good teachers. Through the years i've seen things that i truly dislike and I think they could handle better. While I'm still a big supporter of Villa and I wouldn't put my child anywhere else, mostly because of the Middle School, I am starting to have my doubts as to whether I would recommend the school in the future. Really depends on the future, they seem to be making a lot of changes that are extremely disruptive and a lot of families don't agree with. All in all though, I'm very happy with our Villa experience up to this point.
Like the montessori style, but the school is lacking in basics. They have no foreign language as part of the daily class-time curriculum, which in today's day and age puts my kid at an extreme disadvantage. Plus, studies show the best time to learn a foreign language is when you are youngest. Was also disappointed with a lack of a real arts program (other than clay sculpting.) We ended up going with a preschool nearby, Little Big Minds, which teaches Spanish and feeds into a FREE public school, Biltmore Prep Academy that offers dual language education. We are very excited to have the opportunity for early language learning. Plus the traditional school also has a real art program.
My daughter attended Villa since 3rd grade and the best part or their curriculum is the Middle school. They go beyond academics, which are excelent since my child was accepted to every school she applied into the Honors, AP and IB programs, but the way the teachers and staff approach the personal growth of each child is what makes this school so unique & special. They integrate education as a whole and care for each student individually. The Land Laps and The Heroic Journey are simply fabulous experience for each child to learn about themselves as well as their classmates and community. Communication is open and if you really want to be listen there is always a door open for parents and students to express their minds. They prepared the students to go into "the real world", after being part of the small Villa community, and wherever they go they excel thanks for all the effort and time offered during those two years. Thanks Villa for the wonderful experience!!!
We have been with Villa Montessori for 9 years now and LOVE it! The teachers are incredibly caring and communication has always been easy between myself and teachers as well as administration. My soon to be 9th grader has been very well prepared for HS more than academically. The middle school pays an enormous amount of attention to the student and all the changes they are going through and they have wonderful programs to acknowledge those changes and celebrate them. I have also had kids who have had teacher changes mid year and it is always handled as best as possible. And while choices are not always perfect, this school goes above and beyond to help the kids be successful.
Our daughter just graduated 8th grade and has been attending Villa since she was 3. I am sad and excited for her as she leaves this wonderful community to move into high school. For her, Villa has given her the opportunity to excel academically and socially. One of the best things about Villa is the adherence to the Montessori teaching style which places the children in control of their day. It's their decision what to do when much of the time and the teachers are there for guidance. There is also a big reliance on natural consequences which my husband and I stress at home. If our daughter doesn't do the work, she may get poor grades. I'm not one to do projects for her. The sooner she learns to stand on her own and accept responsibility and consequences for her choices, the better off she'll be. I admit that the lack of sports and foreign language offerings is an opportunity for improvement at Villa. There were also times when teacher turnover affected the classroom environment, but let's be honest, no one stays forever at any job, and to expect teachers to do so is unreasonable. We'll miss Villa immensely and are absolutely certain our daughter is prepared for what lies ahead.
I have been a Villa parent for several years and now have my son attending the middle school. Despite my initial concern about staff changes and the intense workload, I have been very pleased to see the growth in my son. The program is rigorous, but well worth the effort. The overall growth I have seen in my child is remarkable. Thank you Villa Montessori.
The middle school is awful. The teachers are overwhelmed and so are the students. There is no direction or communication between the teachers themselves or the teachers and the parents. They try too hard to cram the academics into tiny spaces of time inbetween, expensive land labs, adventrue trips, projects and other events. The trips are great! You get what you pay for. But my child has so much homework that, I might as well be home-schooling.
The middle school is a mess. The teachers have been quiting all year. No direction, no leadership and frustrated parents. Students are cramming at the last minute, given very little direction. My daughter attended a private junior high and comparing the two is night and day. The only advantage to this middle school is the great land labs, small class size and good kids. Although the teachers are all working hard, they work alone and are trying to keep their heads above water. Two week cycle classes are all about cramming at the last minute. Day planners are given out but no one follows up to make sure these kids know what to do with it. Prep for IB courses? What a joke. Looking back on elementary school, the kids were not properly prepared to flounder in this disorganized agenda. Because these kids are achievers they will get back but what a waster for two years.
uugh this kindergarten year stinks...why is it most other school still offer full day kindergarten at no charge, but not here. Here, you only get 2 hours (NOT even a half day!) and part of that is eaten up with lunch and pickup. To stay all day costs over $700 a month. That's ridiculous. My child is missing a ton of learning time. I wish we'd gone to one of the other dozens of schools in the immediate area with full day kindergarten.
I wish I could rate the school in different categories. While I liked the Montessori approach and gentle/respectful teaching style, and I liked the community with the other parents, I was very disappointed the school has no sports teams (at least not at my child's grade), absolutely no foreign language (they have only a fee-based, after-school program that is weak) and no real music or arts program (they do have a ceramics class, but that's it.) We moved to another school this year that has the arts and sports and especially offers foreign language so our daughter can learn at a young age when it is easier.
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